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DID YOU KNOW?

  • If you were arrested for a DWI, but later got it reduced to a lesser charge, you may qualify for an expunction of your record!

Expunctions and Nondisclosures: How to Clear or Seal your Criminal Record

Will I be able to remove my arrest from my record?

The short answer: it depends. The ability to remove or seal a criminal case on your record is dependent on many things, including the outcome of your case, the laws regarding the charge you were given, and much more. There are strict guidelines which determine an individual’s eligibility for expunction or non-disclosure. Thus, it is important that you discuss your eligibility with an attorney. The removal or sealing of criminal records can aid in securing a job, buying a home, and in many other avenues of your life. Keep reading to understand the guidelines around how you can obtain an expunction or non-disclosure of your criminal record!

So… What are Expunctions, Non-Disclosures, and Dismissals?

These words are often mis-used interchangeably as means of removing a charge from your record. Therefore it is important to differentiate between their definitions, implications, and requirements so that you can best apply them to your case.

This page is only meant to serve as a guideline for understanding the qualifications for expunction or non-disclosure; it is not a guarantee of your eligibility. To accurately assess your eligibility, you should consult with an attorney who specializes in expunctions and non-disclosures, who can evaluate your individual case and provide expert advice regarding your options.

  • Expunctions: An Expunction, or expungement, is the process by which a record of a criminal conviction is destroyed from state or federal record. This requires the courts to treat a criminal conviction as if it never occurred, removing it from a defendant’s criminal record and ideally their public record as well. After a successful expunction, an individual can truthfully claim that they have never been charged with that particular case.

  • Non-Disclosure: A non-disclosure, on the other hand, will seal these records rather than destroy/remove them. This means that the record of your criminal conviction is only accessible to certain state-licensed agencies. In other words, this action prohibits law enforcement agencies, jails, courts and other public information agencies from releasing your arrest information to private third-parties.

  • Dismissal: A dismissal occurs when a prosecutor drops your case. This typically happens due to a lack of sufficient evidence against you or a potential legal issue identified by your attorney that would have resulted in a dismissal had the case gone to trial. In certain situations, your case can be dismissed by a pre-trial intervention program where you perform community service or complete specific courses. Please note that a dismissal does NOT mean that the case or the arrest has been removed from your record. You will still need to file for an expunction to officially “clear” your record of both the case and the arrest.

What’s the Difference Between them?

An important difference to note between expunctions and non-disclosures is that expunctions remove a case from your record, whereas a non-disclosure only seals your record from private third-party entities.

It can be difficult to distinguish which entities can access your non-disclosed records; CLICK HERE for examples of the state-licensed agencies which can still obtain your records even if you’ve been granted a non-disclosure.

What kinds of cases do NOT qualify for expunctions and non-disclosures?

Cases that do not qualify for Expunctions include…

  • Pleas of guilty to Class B or Class A misdemeanors

  • Pleas of guilty to felony offenses

It is important to note that although your case may not be applicable for an expunction, you may still qualify for nondisclosure depending on your criminal history and the resolution of your case. However, there are still certain cases that do not qualify for Non-Disclosures and these include…

  • Felony convictions

  • Any offense involving family violence (regardless of conviction)

  • DWIs that are not first offenses/under 0.15/involve an accident

I think my case is eligible for an Expunction/Non-Disclosure. Now where do I go from here?

The information in this article is important to understand in order to gauge a rough idea of your eligibility for either an expunction or non-disclosure. However, even though your case may pass all the guidelines outlined in this article, there are dozens of implications that could affect your eligibility. In order to take the first step towards a removal or sealing of your criminal records/convictions, it is recommended that you speak to an attorney and gather all the information you can regarding your case before moving forward.

The Greening Law Group has aided many of our clients in this complicated process regardless of whether we represented them in their criminal case.

OUR EXPUNCTION AttorneySarah Wilkinson

Attorney Sarah Wilkinson, joined The Greening Law Group in 2014 and has since defended hundreds of clients in a variety of cases ranging from traffic tickets to serious first-degree felonies. However, Sarah’s dedication to her client’s best outcome doesn’t end with the final verdict of their case. In 2021 alone, Sarah Wilkinson has aided dozens of people in successfully obtaining expunctions and non-disclosures of their cases. Ms. Wilkinson believes that everyone deserves individual attention and high-quality defense, and treats each client with the utmost respect and professionalism. Call our office today to take your first step towards a clear record today!

Interested? Fill out the form on this page and a member of our team will contact you with more information.